US air medical provider Air Methods is opening a fixed wing base, AirLift 10 Texas, in New Braunfels in Texas that will support the entire state and communities already served by its AirLift Texas and AirLife programmes in Uvalde.
"This is very exciting for Uvalde and neighbouring communities as we're seeing more and more patients needing to be transported to higher levels of care in cities such as Houston or Dallas," says AirLift 5 area manager/account executive David Lopez. "While we do our best to transport them with our helicopter, having this asset will allow us to transport them in half the time while keeping the helicopter here to continue responding local emergent calls. Likewise, it will allow us to transport patients in weather conditions that normally our helicopter cannot."
Lopez and the AirLife Uvalde team were joined by local first responders and hospital partners as they got a firsthand look at the Beechcraft King Air B200 aircraft before it went into service on 15 November.
"We're very grateful to have the support of our sister bases across the AirLift Texas programme, and now a fixed wing base as well," says AirLife Uvalde clinical base lead Joel Ramirez. "The people of Uvalde and neighbouring communities greatly depend on air medical services to get to Level I trauma centres during emergencies. While we certainly do our best to meet that need here, there are times where weather conditions can limit our ability to fly, and this is where having the support of a fixed wing base will be lifesaving."
Centrally located in New Braunfels, the Beechcraft King Air B200 will be available across the state but will primarily serve the communities already supported by AirLift Texas in Waco and Weslaco and its sister base, AirLife in Uvalde.